Total closure, return of gauges and curfews … While the Omicron variant continues its meteoric growth, several European countries are tightening the screw on cinemas and other theaters.
The European world of culture is on guard. General restrictions are increasing in Europe, hit hard by the new wave of the Covid-19 epidemic linked to the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus. They also affect, more and more, the world and places of culture, again in the sights of the authorities after the detection of several sources of transmission. Overview of the situation in Europe.
“The closure of places of culture is not on the agenda”Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot said on Monday, about two weeks after the nightclubs closed. Despite this, private and local initiatives are multiplying in the sector, sometimes out of prevention, sometimes out of necessity. In Paris, the Théâtre Mogador had to cancel until December 31 the performances of the Lion King , due to the infection of more than half of his team. Also in the capital, the traditional New Year’s Eve show on the Champs-Élysées has been canceled. And in the world of cinema, if no room is considering closing its doors when the end-of-year blockbusters are on the screen, some production companies are already considering postponing the release of certain films. This is the case with Gaumont, who announced on Wednesday to postpone the release of Franck Dubosc’s comedy for several months. Rumba life, and of I love what you do, the next feature film by Philippe Guillard.
Another atmosphere at the Plat Pays. Following a sharp increase in hospitalizations, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Wednesday the closure of cinemas and other theaters in Belgium from Sunday, December 26. Museums are not affected by these new measures, even if the government has not ruled out that there may be additional restrictions between now and January, in the event of a worsening of the health situation. . The Omicron variant accounts for more than 27% of contaminations in Belgium and should be dominant there in the coming days, the authorities announced.
In addition to a curfew decreed from 11 p.m., Denmark also announced on Friday the closure of all places of culture in the kingdom – cinema, theaters, museums – in order to stem the new wave of ‘epidemic. Some public spaces such as parks will also be closed. Measures which do not concern, however, stores and restaurants, simply subjected to the double constraint of a gauge and a curfew. “We have to limit our activity. We must limit our social contacts ”, said Premier Mette Frederiksen.
SEE ALSO – Covid-19: Denmark closes its places of culture
Since last Sunday, all cinemas, museums, theaters, concert halls and other places of culture in the Netherlands have been closed, and this until at least January 14, a direct consequence of the new confinement decreed in the country. A sweeping move meant to ease the pressure that the Omicron variant places on the Dutch healthcare system. And which forces several events and meetings to relocate on the web, at the last minute, like the Rotterdam International Film Festival, which was due to open in January 2022.
In the wake of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Wales this week announced a ban on cultural events of more than 30 people indoors, or 50 outdoors. Measures which also affect sport. Places of culture such as cinemas and theaters will have to submit to a gauge of six people maximum per group. Following a record number of daily positive cases detected, Northern Ireland also decided on Wednesday to close its nightclubs. However, no new restrictions were mentioned by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, although the head of government said “reserve the right to take additional measures to protect the public, public health and our health services“. As in Paris, the closures therefore intervene after contamination of the teams, as at the Natural History Museum in London, closes until December 27 due to a shortage of healthy personnel.
Faced with the resurgence of the epidemic also observed in Ireland, the government of Micheál Martin announced on Friday to introduce a curfew from 8 p.m. for spaces open to the public, such as pubs and restaurants, but also cinemas and all other places of culture. An initiative in addition to a pre-existing 50% gauge. As in the rest of Europe, these measures – which should end on January 30 – are intended to deal with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, which would already represent nearly one in three new positive cases in the country, said the Minister. Irish Prime Minister. In early December, Ireland had already closed nightclubs and imposed a 50% gauge for concerts.